Sunday, February 10, 2008


Researchers narrow identity of mystery shipwreck


The World Link
By Elise Hamner
February 09, 2008

BLM’s cultural resource coordinator, Steve Samuels, was at the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum on Friday comparing pictures of old ships with photos of the recently uncovered shipwreck.

Museum staff has an archive packed with photos of ships and shipwrecks dating back a century. One vessel they were studying was the C.A. Smith. The wood-hulled schooner was built in North Bend at the Kruse and Banks shipyard in 1917, said Hannah Contino, a research assistant at the museum.

There is a good selection of photos of the vessel before it ran aground at the North Jetty in 1923. Contino said researchers think the remains on the North Spit are from a vessel similar in style.

For the curious, the museum is displaying photos of old ships. There also are other shipwreck photos and a map of wrecks around Coos Bay.

Some people have speculated the mystery shipwreck might be that of the C.W. Wetmore that ran aground a mile north of the jetty in 1892. Not so, said Capt. George Livingstone, who’s on the museum’s Maritime Acquisition Committee. The Wetmore was iron-hulled, he said.

Others have speculated the bow could be from the wrecked schooner Novelty, but historic photos show it without masts and it ran aground miles north of the jetty. Still, there are dozens of other shipwrecks to consider.

“We definitely think we’ll get the answer on this,” Livingstone said.


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